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03-04: Recognizing women's rights over common resources
Securing women’s property rights in utilization of commons: Lessons from the Kadenge community of Yala Swamp
National Legal Aid Service, Kenya
Women in Kenya, as in the rest of the world, continue to suffer from both structural and systemic gender based discrimination. Indigenous women and women living in the rural areas have since time immemorial been particularly vulnerable to marginalization in the management and utilization of commons resources. Despite progressive laws in Kenya which attempt to stem out gender based discrimination, this paper establishes that the gender neutral approach to the management of and access to the commons, leaves room for perpetuating discriminatory practices thus promoting marginalization. The study takes case study of the effect of land reclamation, adjudication and sale of part of Yala Swamp to Dominion Farms ltd on the women of Kadenge community who depended on the Swamp for their livelihoods. This paper proposes a framework to ensure inclusive and participatory governance of the commons to guarantee the property rights of the women who depend on the commons.
Customary land tenure systems and gendered land rights in Ghana’s northern region: Results from phase II gender equity and land tenure focus groups
Mississippi State University, United States of America
We present results from Phase II of the Gendered Equity and Land Tenure (GELT) focus groups, conducted in Ghana’s Northern Region in 2018 to further investigate gender equity and customary land tenure systems among men and women smallholder soybean farmers in Ghana’s Northern Region. Preliminary GELT Phase II results reconfirmed that the primary way a woman farmer can acquire agricultural land is with the permission and assistance of an adult male. The primary way that women acquire land is through their husbands upon marriage. However, it is important to note that in some communities custom dictates that if a husband wishes, he can ‘reclaim’ his wife’s land and allocate her a different plot of land. In a feedback loop, this lack of tenure security made some women reluctant to make improvements to their farm plots, for fear their improved plots would be taken away from them.
Women’s tenure security on collective lands: Implications for measurement and policy
1IFPRI, United States of America; 2Namati; 3University of Oxford
Most of the growing attention to women’s tenure security has focused on individual or household-level land rights, with relatively little attention to women’s rights under collective tenure and common property systems, such as forests and rangelands. This paper presents a framework for assessing women’s tenure security on collective lands. Key dimensions include the bundles of rights held, duration, robustness, and how rights are shared. Women’s security of land rights under collective tenure depends on the extent to which the collective has secure tenure, and the extent to which women’s rights are recognized and exercised within the collective. The paper recommends indicators for in-depth research and for monitoring and reporting women’s tenure security, and identifies implications for policies and programs to protect or strengthen women’s rights to collective resources.
Exploring the role of gender equity in customary land administration to boost production
1International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Uganda; 2UN Habitat/GLTN, Uganda
Land security contributes greatly to the realization of basic human rights and the achievement of the sustainable development goals. In Uganda, registered land is still at 20% with registered women owners constituting a meagre 20%. Gender equity in rights to land can thus increase women’s social and political power. The most significant challenge has been the problem of insecurity of tenure which has affected ability to invest in production.
Against this backdrop, the current initiative supported by UN Habitat GLTN and Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, IIRR is supporting 1000 indigenous households who are rural small holder farmers through promoting pro-poor, fit-for purpose and gender responsive strategies to secure land tenure rights. Considering that 70% of land is owned under customary tenure, the issuance of certificates of customary ownership is also an important element of the initiative in order to contribute to the right to food and poverty reduction.